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Russian player banned at Wimbledon: Are political game pawns or more at stake? – Whole country

With the start of this week’s championship, the ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis players in Wimbledon this year has been controversial.

The All England Club has banned all Russian and Belarus players from participating in prestigious Grand Slam events due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Daniil Medvedev, the top-ranked men’s tennis player, Andrey Rublev, the eighth place, Aryna Sabalenka, the sixth place in the world, and Victoria Azarenka, the former girl’s number one in Belarus, are among those on the sidelines. ..

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Wimbledon bans Russian and Belarusian tennis players in the Ukrainian war

This move has been criticized not only by other players, but also by both men’s and women’s tennis governing bodies, removing ranking point events.

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The ban is intended for individual players who are treated as “unjustice” and “pawns throughout this political game,” but some analysts say there are even more issues.

“It’s very symbolic and has economic and political implications for the boycotted countries,” said Helen Jefferson Lenskey, a former professor at the University of Toronto, in criticism of the Olympic industry and gender in sports. Specializes in problems.


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Professor Daniel Rubenson of the University of Toronto Metropolitan said Wimbledon’s stance would make sense if it gained traction from other sports organizations, but it couldn’t end the war.

“It’s not just about putting the Ukrainian flag pin on the collar. It’s actually expensive,” he told Global News.

“I think it works … because countries and leaders are using sports as a promotion and trying to mobilize their own countries using sports.”

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Wimbledon organizers defended the ban, and the president of the All England Club said the decision was influenced by guidance from the British government and “there was no viable alternative.”

Ian Hewitt spoke with ESPN on Sunday, saying Russia does not want Wimbledon to be used as a “propaganda machine.”

“I am very regretful of the impact on the individual players affected, but I am also very regretful of the impact on so many innocent people caused by the tragic situation in Ukraine,” he said. Stated.

Political sanctions in sports

International sports are no stranger to sanctions and boycotts of political differences.

The United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

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South Africa was subject to various sports sanctions by major international governing bodies during the apartheid era due to institutionalized racial segregation.

The ban on South African athletes “played a tremendous role” in changing the world’s view of apartheid and putting pressure on the South African government, Rubenson said.

“Sports have always been used politically, but they will continue to be used,” he told Global News.


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Bruce Berglund, a historian of sports in Europe, Russia and the world, said international sports could not separate politics from sports and failed to seek neutrality.

“In an attempt to maintain neutrality, it fell into the hands of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” he said of past deals with Russia by FIFA, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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“The organization hosting these events must be aware of international issues.”

Russian and Belarusian tennis players are currently banned from participating in international team competitions, but tour events allow them to compete as individual players under a neutral flag.

They will be allowed to participate in the French Open in Paris, which ended earlier this month, and will be able to play in the US Open and Warming Up tournaments in Canada.

Lenskyj said tennis has set a good example in challenging countries like Russia, and other Leagues of Nations may be better off following their lead.

“They can’t be silent and can’t be neutral,” she said.

— Using files from Catherine Eilethworth and Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



Russian player banned at Wimbledon: Are political game pawns or more at stake? – Whole country

Source link Russian player banned at Wimbledon: Are political game pawns or more at stake? – Whole country

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